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Talk hoops all year long in Luke Winn's blog, a journal of commentary, news and reader-driven discussions about the college game.
2/26/2008 10:49:00 PM

Style Archive Update No. 9

This is the season's ninth update of the Style Archive, a museum of college hoops fashion that featured 44 exhibits in 2006-07 and is back open for '07-08.

Readers are encouraged to make nominations in the comments or by sending an e-mail to hoopstylesi@gmail.com, and will get credit for successful suggestions. Pictures are welcome.

Without further ado, the Archive (latest update Feb. 27; full Archive can be found here):

Kansas Jayhawks
Classification: Throwback Jerseys
Spotted: Feb. 16 vs. Colorado
Notes: In an ode to the pre-Trajan era, KU trotted out throwbacks from Danny Manning's national championship team -- and while wearing them, pounded the Buffs, 69-45. Why not keep these on a permanent basis?

Dark Horses
USC Trojans
Classification: Alternate Jerseys
Spotted: Feb. 17 vs. UCLA
Notes: USC's "Black Out The Bruins" experiment did not go well: The jerseys were a style flop, and the Trojans played poorly in them, losing 56-45 to their L.A. rivals as star O.J. Mayo scored just four points.

The Cut Of Osiris
Osiris Eldridge, 6-3 guard, Soph., Illinois State
Classification: Gradual Mohawk
Spotted: Feb. 5 vs. Drake
Notes: The actual Osiris distinguished himself by having green skin -- and also by being the Greek god of life, death and fertility. That's a hard act to follow, but Eldridge is putting in a nice effort with this 'do.

Indiana Hoosiers
Classification: Ousted Coach's Initials
Spotted: Feb. 23 vs. Northwestern
Notes: The Hoosiers paid their respects to Kelvin Sampson's career by writing his initials on their shoes; he showed them some love by sending them text-messages after they narrowly beat the cellar-dwelling 'Cats.

LeVa Tech
Paul Debnam, 6-3 guard, Soph., Virginia Tech
Classification: Customized LeBrons
Spotted: Feb. 16 at UNC by Zeke Smith
Notes: Zeke, a Chapel Hill-based photog, not only nominated Debnam but sent in a photo of the walk-on's VT-emblazoned 'Brons. Other end-of-the bench guys take note: custom kicks will get you some Style pub.


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2/26/2008 09:18:00 AM

Q&A with ... Maryland's Greivis Vasquez

Sophomore Greivis Vasquez tied a Maryland single-game record with 15 assists in a win over N.C. State on Feb. 9.
Al Tielemans/SI
For the latest Q&A, I chatted with Maryland's Greivis Vasquez, a sophomore from Caracas, Venezuela, who's averaging 17.5 points and 6.7 assists per game. The Terps are currently 17-11 (7-6 in the ACC) and on the NCAA tournament bubble. The following is an edited transcript of a conversation with Vasquez from late last week:

Luke Winn: For a Sports Illustrated piece from last season, you told me a story about your family listening to Webcasts of Maryland games, specifically a big early win over Illinois. Is this how they still follow the Terps from Venezuela?

Greivis Vasquez: That's legendary now. We've got a Web site for Maryland that has the game [stats] on it, and they track it, just sit around the computer and keep refreshing the page. And they've got the Internet radio that they can listen to. But they don't speak English. So they wait to hear my last name, and then they go crazy. They'll keep the [box score] on the computer that shows when a player shoots the ball, and there's maybe 40 people watching that as it loads. They've got ESPN now too, though, so when we're on that they can see it on TV.

LW: You talked about your dad being a huge New York Yankees fan. Have you taken him to a game yet when he's visited the states?

GV: He LOVES the Yankees. Loves baseball. He can talk about baseball for years and years. He wanted me to play baseball, but I couldn't wait for the ball to come to me.

This summer when he came we went to see the the Orioles when they played the Yankees, twice. But I want to take him to Yankee Stadium, go up to New York so he can see one of those games. That would be special.

LW: I heard you do -- or at least used to do -- a celebration dance in practice called the Caracas Shuffle.

GV: My high school coach, coach [David] Adkins (an assistant at Montrose Christian in Rockville, Md.), called me "Caracas Shuffle" because I'd be bouncing around all the time in practice -- especially when I made a big shot. Sometimes I'd celebrate that, but I've stopped it mostly since I got to college. Coach [Gary] Williams doesn't really like that. He does let me do it once in a while, and I will, just to remember the old days.

LW: So how does the dance go?

GV: I'll kind of shake my shoulders, like a shake-and-bake thing, and maybe do a little bit of chicken wing. Sometimes I'll make a funny face while I'm doing it. I don't know if you watched the game when we played Duke last year, but I made a big three and then came to the end of the court, and was shaking my shoulders and dancing. That was pretty cool at the time -- because we were winning.

LW: It seems like you live for games at Duke.

GV: Duke is a great environment. I give a lot of respect to Coach K: he is one of the best in the business. Their fans are so good; they're into the game, they make the game so much better. It's just good to play in that environment. And of course Duke is a great team. You have to compete with somebody better than you, or on an equal level to you, so you can get better.

LW: The Cameron Crazies put a lot of effort into heckling you in particular. What's the best thing they've said?

GV: The funniest thing is when they started calling me names about my president in Venezuela, [Hugo] Chavez. They know the situation there. Our president is known as a guy who talks a lot, who doesn't like the president of the United States. They talk a lot of trash abut that, and say things like that I'm [Chavez's] son. I guess they do research and think, 'How can I get this guy?'

LW: Being Chavez's son wouldn't be that bad, right?

GV: If I was actually Chavez's son, I'd be in a great situation, with all the power and money and all that. I mean, he's the president! But I'm not his son. That's not how it is.

LW: After you lost this year at Cameron, Duke's DeMarcus Nelson was quoted as saying about you, "He might have gotten his points tonight, but his teammates didn't, and we got the win. ... It's more about himself than his team. That's something, I guess, they allow in their locker room." What was your reaction to hearing that?

GV: I haven't said anything about that, just because I can't wait to play against Duke again. And that's part of the reason they've been losing lately: They're getting into things that are none of their business. I've got no right to talk about anybody else's locker room, and when I talk after the game -- when I win or lose -- I never say anything bad about any good players or any other teams.

I don't know where he got that from. I was just trying to win the game. I don't have any right to say things about your game, so you better keep it to yourself, and make sure you're doing what you need to do to make your team better, and not worry about anybody else. But he said what he said, and it motivated me to work even harder. So one day I will play aginst him again and show him how it is: That it's not about me scoring 25, it's about me winning basketball games. On that night Duke happened to win.

LW: In an interview for that SI article, Gary Williams told me that you saluted him before the first day of practice in your freshman year. Did you ever do that again?

GV: I do it once in a while still. Not that often. I show him a lot of respect. To me he's maybe the best coach that I'll ever have -- him and Stu Vetter from high school. I love coach Williams -- his attitude, his passion, his energy. It's like I see myself in the mirror when I see the way he coaches practice, and how he's so intense. That's my personality. I want to be coached by him and win a national championship with him. That's going to take a lot of work; I know that every college team wants to win a national championship. It's going to come down to who wants its the most.

LW: Coach Williams used to call you his "John Havlicek" when you were a sixth man as a freshman; now you've transitioned into being the team's leading scorer. Was that a difficult switch?

GV: Any compliment from Coach Williams is great; that's coming from a guy who is going to be a Hall of Famer. He gives me so much confidence, and I know what I'm capable of doing on the court. And especially after playing a lot of basketball with my national team from Venezuela this summer, it wasn't that hard of a transition. I got to play against guys like Kobe [Bryant], Jason Kidd, all the NBA guys, and when I got back to Maryland I kept working hard, hoping that one day I'll reach that level.

LW: What was the best moment from that national-team run?

GV: Guarding Kobe Bryant was unbelievable. I grew up watching him, and all the stuff that he said after the game -- and during the game -- was just good for me to hear.

LW: I read that Kobe spoke to you in Spanish.

GV: He spoke Spanish pretty well. At first he was talking to the ref in Spanish, he was saying that he wasn't elbowing me. Then [Bryant] told me later on, 'Just keep playing hard, you're going to be fine. You're doing good.' It was Kobe Bryant, man! It was just good to hear that. He said a lot of stuff in Spanish. I couldn't believe it.

LW: If you say something in Spanish now, during a college game, what is it?

GV: I'll never forget where I'm coming from, so I've gotta say some things in Spanish to get myself feeling better, or if I don't want someone to understand something -- like, if I'm mad after making a turnover or not shooting the ball well. It's a good thing [people don't understand it] sometimes.

There are a few different things I'll say in Spanish: Sometimes when I'm going 199 miles an hour, I'll tell myself to calm down; or, when I'm starting to go crazy, in a good way, I just say, "Something crazy started!" -- that's when I start going off.

LW: I read (in the DC Sports Bog) about you doing some crazy moped driving on campus. True?

GV: That was just a one-time thing. Some players saw me driving that moped that I borrowed. I was a little late to class, and yeah, I was driving a little crazy because I didn't want to be late. I think I had a quiz. I mean, [the moped] only goes up to 50, so you can't go that crazy with it, but I was going in a wild way, up on the sidewalk and all that. Just yelling, "People! Please move out the way!" and going through the crowd.

I'm not using that moped anymore, though; on campus they just put up some papers saying that nobody's allowed to ride a moped on the sidewalk, that the fine will be like $80 if they catch you.

LW: In that same story, teammate Bambale Osby called you the 'Mr GQ' of the Terrapins. How did you earn that nickname?

GV: I guess I got that because, you know, we're in Maryland, we're close to Washington D.C., and there's a lot of people who can relate with my game, with my energy and all that. I try to just worry about playing basketball, but it's cool when people know who you are in a good way. And Boom knows a lot of people who want to know me, who want to be my friend.

Now he knows my new girlfriend, too, so he had to say something about me dating softball girls and cheerleaders. I used to have a girlfriend who was a cheerleader, and we just broke up a while back. Now I've got a girlfriend who plays softball. I introduced her to Boom, and now he's making her famous.

LW: As Mr. GQ, what's your opinion of Boom Osby's fro?

GV: I mean, that's his personality. His afro looks good on him. That's the way he represents himself. He's got this big afro and he plays that way -- big. A lot of people compare him with Ben Wallace because of that afro, but I don't think they should compare him like that, even though Ben Wallace is a good player. I just think he's Boom Osby. That's his style.

LW: Would you wear that if you could

GV: I wish I could. I wouldn't be able to, though. My hair doesn't grow that way.

LW: I wanted to ask you about the thing you had shaved in your facial hair earlier this season. I had never seen anything like it -- crazy designs on your cheeks. How did you come up with that?

GV: My barber did it. One day he was cutting my hair and was doing some fancy stuff. I told him to shave my face too. When you're young you do some crazy stuff. I mean, college is only four years -- you've got four good years of it.

You have to think about having a fresh look and see if stuff looks good. It's not about looking good necessarily, it's about having some type of STYLE, you know? Like the Spanish people would do. Like Puerto Ricans or Venezuelans would do. You just have to try some things, like having some style on my face.
It was cool for a couple of days, but I can't do that anymore. It's not that great for your image if you're trying to eventually be a pro.

LW: This barber, who is he, in case people want to get that design?

GV: His name is Boris. He's Puerto Rican. I call him Boris The Puerto Rican Barber. His shop is like 20 minutes from [campus]. He's always trying new things. And every time I go to his barbershop, they say, 'Oh, that's the guy from Maryland, and I help to make him a little famous. So people will come over and get their hair cut, and ask questions about our games.

LW: This new style that you've got right now, with the goatee and the slick look, what was inspiration for it?

GV: Right now I'm trying to look fresh, clean cut. I wanted to do something good with my hair, to use a lot of gel in my hair to look Spanish and represent my people.

LW: Gel represents the Spanish?

GV: Yeah man, using a lot of gel. I just try to change it up once in a while. I wanted to do some fancy stuff. You've got to keep it real; keep people asking, "What is that in his hair? And what has he got on his face?" It's all for fun.

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2/24/2008 02:42:00 PM

The Weekend That Was: Parting Thoughts From Memphis

Bob Rosato/SI

Sitting in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel on Sunday afternoon, reflecting on what might have been the most chaotic high-stakes college hoops game I've ever seen, and admiring the killer photo of J.P. Prince above (taken by SI's Bob Rosato) ...

1. I liked Bruce Pearl's admission that he wasn't sure coming into Saturday's game -- and still might not be sure -- that Tennessee is the nation's best team. He said that all he kept telling his Vols was, "I don't know if we're the best team in the country, but can you believe we're 40 minutes away from being No. 1?"

Now that Tennessee has dethroned Memphis 66-62 and is less than 24 hours away from officially being named No. 1 in The Associated Press and Coaches' Polls, it's worth revisiting the subject: Should the Vols now be considered the favorites to win the national title?

There's only a small pack of legitimate title hopefuls: Tennessee, UCLA, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Memphis and Texas. Our national champion won't come from outside that group, because the drop-off to the crowd that includes the rulers of the Big East (Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, and UConn) and Big Ten (Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana) is too big. Of the seven contenders, none has the mix of athleticism and quality depth that the Volunteers do. But if I were to fill out a bracket today, I'd be inclined to set up a Tennessee-UCLA title game with the Bruins winning, for three reasons:

• Much of UCLA's roster already has either one or two Final Fours under its belt ...
• Florida, the only team the Bruins have ever seemed to cower and hide from, is finally out of the picture
• The lone UCLA starter without Final Four experience, Kevin Love, gives them an interior dimension that the Vols simply do not have.

2. In ascending order of craziness, the memorable things that happened in or around Saturday's game:

• Pearl conducting an interview with Entertainment Tonight -- yes, ET -- after he finished talking to basketball reporters. Pearl, never turning down the opportunity to ham it up, asked the reporter for a "J-O-B" and told them that entertainment news might be his true calling instead of coaching.

• That Memphis' final possession while it had a lead, at 61-60 with 43 seconds left, ended with teammates Joey Dorsey and Robert Dozier tying each other up on an offensive rebound, and being called for a travel. Dorsey's stat line: one point, six boards, four fouls.

• That Tennessee won without Chris Lofton making a single three-pointer.

• The awkward silence of Memphis locker room, in which packs of media members trying, mostly in vain, to get any comments on the loss. The players are not required by any NCAA rule to speak, and Chris Douglas-Roberts, Joey Dorsey and Antonio Anderson in particular opted not to -- which was unfortunate, considering how loud they had been before the game, "woofing" (as Tyler Smith put it) into Tennessee's huddle in the tunnel of FexEx Forum.

• Pearl giving some "love" (or at least that's one way to describe it) to Erin Andrews in the halftime interview. I didn't witness Pearl's defensive demonstration live, but it has spread like wildfire on the Web. The man is single now: you have to give him some credit for trying.

• That Memphis, the 225th-ranked three-point shooting team in the country, attempted 27 threes. The Tigers were 0-for-7 in the second half.

• Looking up from my computer during a first-half timeout to see Lindsay Davenport and James Blake, both clad in Tiger tees, hitting tennis balls (rather aggressively, it may be noted) into the crowd as part of a promotion for a Memphis tournament.

• That Antonio Anderson, and not Chris Douglas-Roberts or Derrick Rose, took Memphis' final meaningful shot.

• That in the media room at halftime, the person behind me in the pretzel-and-popcorn line was Priscilla Presley. She took a look at the ravaged serving dishes of snacks and decided to pass.

Luke Winn/SI

3. About Memphis: One loss obviously doesn't mean the Tigers should be written off. It's still going to take an extremely unfavorable Elite Eight matchup for me to keep them out of the Final Four. But after seeing Saturday's game, it's a lot tougher for me to envision Memphis cutting down the nets in San Antonio.

Tennessee was the first team the Tigers have faced this year that could match their level of athleticism (as much as Georgetown, Arizona, UConn or USC would like to believe they could, they're not in the same league). Without a considerable advantage in quickness on the perimeter, Memphis' much-discussed (and SI-featured) offense, the Dribble-Drive Motion or DDM, devolved into a couple of things: An epidemic of out-of-the-flow three-point shooting swept over the Tigers in the first half, and they made enough treys (8-of-20) to give them false hope that they would win the game that way. In the second, the offense was better described, as I did in the game column, with the acronym DRD. That stands for Derrick Rose Driving -- because he was the only guard who still had the quickness to beat his man off the dribble every time.

No defender in the country can keep up with Rose, but when a team like Tennessee or Kansas or UCLA can keep the rest of the Memphians in check, is this what will happen again in the NCAA tournament? That's a scary thought, because we know the Tigers can't win a game from the three-point line or the charity stripe.

4. All of the Memphis fans wearing those shirts that say "Associated Press No. 1" on the front -- many of the folks not wearing the "I HATE ORANGE" shirts had these on -- shouldn't pack them away for the rest of the season. The Tigers will probably be back in the top spot by the final poll before the NCAA tournament. I don't see them dropping any lower than No. 3 in the polls that come out Monday; and Tennessee and North Carolina, the first two teams behind them, are hardly guaranteed to run the table from here until the dance begins.

5. A good point made by Andy Cox at the Crashing The Dance blog this week: If Tennessee wins the SEC and holds onto No. 1, the Vols, and not Duke or North Carolina, would likely get slotted into the Charlotte regional of the NCAA tournament. The bigger question, and the scary thing for Tennessee is, would the Blue Devils or Tar Heels get to stay in the state of North Carolina as a No. 2 seed? The crowd making the trek from Tobacco Road, especially if the team were UNC, would make for quite the unfair advantage. Would the selection committee really be that cruel to the Vols?

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2/23/2008 07:14:00 PM

Live from The Center Of The College Hoops Universe

The scene outside FedEx Forum three hours before tip of No. 2 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Memphis: The weather was a tad cold for the mid-South, blue-clad fans were mobbing Beale Street, isolated packs of Tennessee fans were being heckled, and scalpers were still trying to get $200 apiece for upper-level tickets ...

Outside Memphis-Tennessee
Luke Winn/SI

The fellow below had the ultimate Tigers-fan combo: A blue goatee and an "I HATE ORANGE" t-shirt.

Outside Memphis-Tennessee
Luke Winn/SI

Memphis students lined up before 5 a.m. Saturday to gain access to the ESPN GameDay set. Then they lined up again later in the day to secure the choicest seats for the game.

Outside Memphis-Tennessee
Luke Winn/SI

A pep rally -- with plenty of media coverage, and an awkward "we're No. 1 chant" in progress as this pic was snapped -- was being held on the FedEx Forum's massive patio.

Outside Memphis-Tennessee
Luke Winn/SI

I'll check back in post-game. Feel free to kill time in the comments section ...

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2/21/2008 10:01:00 AM

Photos From The Road

I had about three months' worth of pictures sitting on my Canon Elph, and finally dumped them into iPhoto today. I've been slacking with the pics this year (that will change come tourney time, I promise) but there were a few decent basketball shots in the download:

Luke Winn/SI

As a writer, you're not well-positioned (or, in many cases, even approved) to take small-time digital camera shots during a game, so you end up snapping random stuff like this, which was taken at 1 a.m. outside of the Frank Erwin Center following Texas' upset of Kansas. The streets were completely empty by then, and this sign was casting a nice amber glow on the sidewalk as I walked back to my car, which was the last one in the parking lot. That was a sad moment, in that I realized I came all the way to Austin and would only have 45 minutes to enjoy its fine saloons.

Luke Winn/SI

That's J.P. Prince on the left, slapping hands with most of Tennessee's headband brigade before their beat-down of Vanderbilt. The Vols, like Indiana, do the striped-warmup thing, but in a way that somehow seems more showtime than retro.

Luke Winn/SI

This one is from way back in December, when I drove out to Rutgers to do a story on Carolina's Danny Green. Note how while the rest of the Tar Heels are engaged in shootaround business while Tyler Hansbrough, at right near the halfcourt line, is in the midst of an elaborate stretching ritual.
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2/18/2008 09:43:00 AM

Style Archive Update No. 8

This is the season's eighth update of the Style Archive, a museum of college hoops fashion that featured 44 exhibits in 2006-07 and is back open for '07-08.

Readers are encouraged to make nominations in the comments or by sending an e-mail to hoopstylesi@gmail.com, and will get credit for successful suggestions. Pictures are welcome.

Without further ado, the Archive (latest update Feb. 18; full Archive can be found here):

Lumberjack From Down Under
Aron Baynes, 6-10 center, Jr., Wash. State
Classification: Woodsman/Williamsburg Beard
Spotted: Feb. 7 vs. UCLA
Notes: Baynes, the Cougars' temperamental center, recently began sporting this scraggly beard. Whether the Aussie is doing it for warmth or hipster cred, or if it's merely a result of hygienic neglect, we do not know.

DeanDome Dancin'
Danny Green, 6-6 forward, Jr., North Carolina
Classification: Pregame dance ritual
Spotted: Feb. 6 vs. Duke
Notes: The main reason Green doesn't start at Carolina, I think, is so he can do this dance while House of Pain's Jump Around blares from the Smith Center speakers right before tip. It's become something of a UNC tradition.

Deron Washington, 6-7 forward, Sr., Virginia Tech
Classification: Haircut
Spotted: Feb. 5 at N.C. State
Notes: The night before the Hokies beat Virginia on Feb. 2, Washington had his girlfriend and a teammate chop off his trademark dreadlocks and give him a mohawk in their place. "I wanted to shock everybody," he said.

Tylenol Flu Daytime Mouthpiece
Trevon Hughes, 6-0 guard, Soph., Wisconsin
Classification: Bi-colored mouthpiece
Spotted: Jan. 31 vs. Indiana
Notes: I'm not sure if I gave this entry the best name ... but when Hughes smiles, it looks like he has a Tylenol Flu Gelcap across his front teeth. This must've looked great with the Badgers' striped retro socks.

Marian Blues
Dayton Flyers
Classification: Additional jersey logo
Spotted: Jan. 16 vs. UMass
Notes: The first time the Flyers experimented with this retro look -- a baby blue that may have been an ode to the dome on their famous Marian Library -- they watched a 13-game winning streak come to an end.


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2/17/2008 02:34:00 PM

The Weekend That Was: Four Parting Thoughts

Tigers win
Memphis is still unbeaten -- but only after Robert Vaden's last-second shot missed the mark for UAB.
(Consider this a warmup for all the tourney blogging that awaits next month ... and beware, there's a minuscule Wire spoiler in part 2.)

1. If ESPN were to begin hyping up Tennessee-Memphis six days early, as if it were college hoops' Super Bowl, I wouldn't have any problem with it. Given what's on the line, the battle for Volunteer State supremacy feels about 10 times more important than the Nos. 2-vs.-3 Duke-Carolina game on Feb. 6. And yet I can't escape the feeling that if the Tigers were going to actually lose during the regular season, it would've happened in an out-of-the-spotlight, on-the-road situation like Saturday night's game in Birmingham.

Memphis-UAB was only televised regionally by CSS, and therefore most of the country only caught the Tigers' amazing comeback (and the ugly postgame melee, with classless Blazers fans throwing debris, and Joey Dorsey being restrained from attacking them) via highlight reels. Down 77-70 with 1:23 to go, the Tigers went on an 9-1 run -- with six of the points coming from All-America lock Chris Douglas-Roberts -- to close the game and save their undefeated season. Whereas Memphis has been prone to cold streaks from the field and the free-throw line in less-hyped Conference USA games, it has looked unbeatable in its marquee matchups at FedEx Forum. Just ask Georgetown, Arizona and Gonzaga how difficult it is to pull off an upset in that building.

(Update: Thanks to this photo posted on the Memphis Commercial Appeal's Web site Sunday, there's evidence of a player identified as Tigers forward Pierre Niles slapping a fan in the UAB student section. So it appears -- beyond what was presented in the highlights -- that there was a lack of class on both sides. Conference USA said on Sunday night that it was investigating the matter.)

2. Damn, Indiana. Did you really go from treating Kelvin Sampson like persona non grata when he walked onto Assembly Hall's court on Saturday night, to chanting his name with less than two minutes left in that 80-61 win over Michigan State? Sampson's entry was met with a mix of boos and groans and uncomfortable silence. Somehow he managed to walk off the court like Sen. Clay Davis emerged from this week's grand jury hearing in The Wire: gleefully victorious. I'm happy there will be no postseason ban for the Hoosiers. None of the players had anything to do with Sampson's deceptions and disregard for NCAA rules, after all. But letting Sampson continue to coach while IU sharpens the guillotine -- and athletic director Rick Greenspan figures out ways to suggest he wasn't solely to blame for Sampson's hiring -- just makes for sad theater.

3. Brook and Robin Lopez put on quite the show for Stanford on Saturday at Arizona, with Brook (23 points, 10 boards) hitting the game-winning free throws, and Robin (14 points, eight rebounds) swatting Chase Budinger's last-second layup attempt. Brook, who seems to get at least one touch on every Cardinal offensive possession, is already listed as the fourth pick in DraftExpress' 2008 mock, but you have to wonder: If there were just one Lopez, rather than twins, and he had Brook's offensive skills and Robin's defensive skills, would he be regarded as a better NBA prospect than Greg Oden was last year?

4. I just watched Notre Dame barely survive against Rutgers at the RAC, and was reminded of something that Irish guard Kyle McAlarney had pointed out after Wednesday's loss to UConn: That meeting with the Huskies -- which took place on Feb. 13, mind you -- was Notre Dame's first road game in an on-campus arena all season. How in the name of Kelly Tripucka could that happen? To start, the Irish didn't play a single true road game outside of the Big East: they played only neutral-site affairs in St. Thomas (the Paradise Jam) and New York (the Jimmy V). And then their first four Big East road games were all at off-campus, NBA-style arenas used by Marquette (Bradley Center), Georgetown (Verizon Center), Villanova (Wachovia Center) and Seton Hall (Prudential Center). The Irish are a high-quality team with a legit All-America candidate in Luke Harangody, but they haven't exactly been battle-tested away from South Bend.

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2/12/2008 09:51:00 AM

Style Archive Update No. 7

This is the season's seventh update of the Style Archive, a museum of college hoops fashion that featured 44 exhibits in 2006-07 and is back open for '07-08.

Readers are encouraged to make nominations in the comments or by sending an e-mail to hoopstylesi@gmail.com, and will get credit for successful suggestions. Pictures are welcome.

Without further ado, the Archive (latest update Feb. 12; full Archive can be found here):

The Fanucci/Wolfe/Greene Suit
Rick Pitino, coach, Louisville
Classification: All-white coaching attire
Spotted: Feb. 9 vs. Georgetown
Notes: As part of the Cards' "White Out" promotion, Pitino wore this getup -- but ditched it at halftime, claiming it was a casualty of a spilled soda. With its coach back in black, the 'Ville pulled off a comeback win.

Bob Huggins, coach, West Virginia
Classification: Yellow suit
Spotted: Jan. 30 vs. Cincinnati
Notes: Huggs went all-out for his first coaching appearance against his former employer, sporting this crazy suit and matching shoes. He didn't get the desired result on the floor, however: WVU was blown out 62-39.

Sweater Vested
Pat Knight, coach, Texas Tech
Classification: O'Reilly Auto Parts Coachingwear
Spotted: Feb. 9 at Nebraska
Notes: Pat's ascension to the Red Raiders' head job moves the sweater vest, an increasingly rare sideline style, back into the forefront. The Son of Bob is well on his way to becoming the Jim Tressel of college basketball.

Thinking Pink
Essence Carson, 6-0 guard, Sr., Rutgers
Spotted: Feb. 11 at Tennessee
Notes: Carson and the Scarlet Knights wore pink uniforms -- and even pink Nikes -- for their narrow loss to the Volunteers. It was part of a "Think Pink" campaign that's aimed at promoting breast cancer awareness.

The Air Gordon Tee
Eric Gordon, 6-4 guard, Fr., Indiana
Classification: Baggy undershirt
Spotted: Feb. 10 at Ohio State
Notes: The Hoosiers' influx of t-shirt-wearing rookies -- Gordon, Jamarcus Ellis and Jordan Crawford -- caused senior star D.J. White to cut off his sleeves. This oversized look has become Gordon's trademark.


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